Does Taking Risks Pay Off?
My wife. My daughter. My lifestyle. My trips. My experiences. My growth. I have all these things in my life because I took risks. If I really sit and think about how I went about creating certain things in my life, the one consistent theme is that I faced my fears and took risks. When you grow, it can be scary. Maybe that’s because growth comes when you’re uncomfortable…when you’re forced to stretch.
Just 7 years ago I was living with my mom trying to create an online publication. I decided to move me and my wife into my moms house because quite frankly, I didn’t have much else of a choice. I had recently gotten kicked out of my previous living situation and I didn’t have much money to put down on a house especially because I had just quit my job at a bank where I felt unhappy, suppressed and uncreative. That was really a turning point for me. I really felt low. My energy wasn’t right and my opinion of myself wasn’t that great either. I wasn’t providing for my wife the way I wanted to but I also didn’t want to give up on my dream, even though at that time I didn’t know what my “dream” really was or what it encompassed.
Why was it a turning point for me? I think it was the first time I really gave myself the opportunity to answer the question I’ve secretly had been asking myself my entire life. What do I want to do in life? How do I want to create value or an experience for others? How do I want my life to look in 10, 20 or even 30 years from now? I lacked clarity when I asked myself that question, so I kew the only way I could gain some clarity was through trial and error…through experience. How else does one come to a conclusion about anything? What were my interests? What excited me? People!
I’ve always loved people. Since I was a kid I was around people all the time. I grew up in church and being the son of a preacher and the grandson of two preachers meant I was conveniently forces into social environments. That didn’t bother me at all. Actually, it fueled me. People give me energy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my “me” time but I also appreciate the relationships I have with people…even strangers. Sometimes strangers are the most interesting to me because I know nothing about them. That’s when it hit me. How can I constantly be in situations where I’m meeting new people and finding out more information about them in non-threatening, or creepy (haha!) way?
That’s how TheCarmelValleyLife.com was created. I wanted to create a community of people that saw their community they way I did…an opportunity to learn and grow with each other. After quickly buying the most inexpensive camera…which happened to be a flip-camera (they don’t make them anymore because everyone’s cell phone is now a camera…wow I feel old). I started regularly attending events and spinning my networking efforts in my favor. Being a recent “Certified Mortgage Coach” meant I needed to create some great relationships with Realtors and those close to the industry. For me, vlogging and creating visual content for my key relationships was great. As a mortgage advisor, you get a lot of push back from Realtors because they get approached by a million vendors every week wanting their business. For me, this was my way to get close to top real estate agents. And it worked!
Fast forward a few years into this project and I had to decide what I was going to do next. Mortgage? Or build out this online publication? I’m sure you can guess which one I chose. I’ll give you a hint, it’s the one with the least security. I chose to pursue a career in publishing content for others. Time went on and I was approached by a good friend to do a video for her beachfront property in Carlsbad. Did I do it even though I had no idea how to film property at the time? You bet I did. I figured it out as I went along. I followed my gut and intuition, and this approach hasn’t failed me yet.
Following My Intuition
I’d like to say that it was at this point that I figured out everything in my life. But the truth is as more time went on, I found myself in more “unstable” situations. Let me clarify. Had I taken a road down the career path which utilized my finance degree, I would have had more “certainty” or more “stability” because, well, that’s all been done before. It’s a career and there are road maps that will help ensure your success. This…content creator/publisher thing was new to me. I had no formal training and there wasn’t much out there that gave me any guidance.
So, what did I do? I continued down the road of uncertainty. And when our real estate niche began to take off, I knew I had to choose a new path once again. Luckily for me, this time I was able to mix the two and create an even more dynamic business.
Though most of what I covered was business related, I have to say that it is equally true when it comes to my personal relationships and home life. That’s why I’m sold on living life this way. It’s the only way I’ve been able to fuel my curiosity, my passions, my creativity, all at the same time giving me a lifestyle I 100% love, even though sometimes one can easily worry, doubt and fear. And maybe that’s why I love it that much. Maybe part of it that is exciting to me is not knowing…not knowing how everything will turn out creates an edge for me and keeps me interested. Maybe it’s the chance of losing it all that keeps me coming back to prove to myself that I can have what I want in life because I’m the one that’s in charge of how I think, my habits and my overall mindset.
(side note: I have a feeling my daughter Makena will also grow up and being adventurous in her pursuit of a lifestyle of her choosing. She’s so curious and such an explorer)